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 Post subject: Should SANParks be involved in community conservation?
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 12:41 pm 
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{See Uncle Kev's introduction here.}

Uncle Kev wrote:
I invite you to comment on the objectives of People and Conservation within the broader objectives of SANParks.


Why should SANParks be involved in community conservation in communities bordering parks? Are they into conservation or social welfare? There are government and non-government organisations already doing that.

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Answer by Bucky:
They are probably into social welfare , but I reckon an ultimate goal would be to turn these community's into conservation nuts , because they have learned about the benefits .
I don't just mean benefits in the form of hand outs , or money in the pocket , but even just the villages looking more beautiful and being more healthy due to conserving of trees in the area instead of utilizing them for firewood , getting rid of the myths like for instance "owls are evil magical birds" and where these birds are killed because of this belief , rather than realising it is a highly beneficial creature in terms of rodent and other pest control .
I think this is a very important area , especially considering that Kruger shares almost 300KM of border fence with the neighboring community's .

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Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:04 pm 
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I am there with Bucky.

I have driven through the communities many times on my way to Kruger Park. I can see that there are a lot of empty bellies.
The problem about empty bellies is that any offer of food becomes welcome. It makes people vulnerable to poaching.. and.. and

The community needs to experience, at hunger level, that Saparks plays a role. This is not a time for preaching, it is a time for understanding and jobs.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:30 am 
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Who is most qualifies to provide conservation information and ideas with the neighbours?
SANPARKS!
By reasonable deduction this means that SANP should be most involved. Involvment in the community will help prevent poaching and if we can instill a sence of pride, belonging and ownership in the Park by the neighbours they will be more willing to help.
But, they have to get something out of it. There has to be a reward for the neighbouring community. I am not sure of just what that reward should be or how it should work, but if the next door neighbour does not benefit in some way, they may just resent the park and probably the worst outcome, resent the tourists, with possible disasterous results.
Education and involvement may be the difference between passion for, and resentment against the park and all it stands for. Passionate conservationists may assist SANP in their conservation endeavours. Indifference or resentment may have the extreme opposite effect.
My original question, who is most qualified?
Can we (the broader community) afford the risk? Any positive moves to conserve are better than none at all and I think we need all the help we can get.
(I am not suggesting that SANP are not involved.)

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 Post subject: Re: Should SANParks be involved in community conservation?
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:42 pm 
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Bump :D

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 Post subject: Re: Should SANParks be involved in community conservation?
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:38 pm 
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Quote:
I can see that there are a lot of empty bellies.


Please go into politics, this is not Ethiopia with civil war, a statement that is not fitting indeed IMHO. :naughty:

But in answer, SANParks must be involved, but not in the current way of having people intrude into the conservation area to harvest Mopani Worms, cut thatch etc.

That one week of free entry i.e. was great, I had an average of 11 kids every day into Kruger,(My costs) but the local staff of Kruger did frown apon it, instead of helping out, educating etc. I do think that the ideas of HQ in Pretoria does not filter through. :?

If the local communities, "previous disadvantaged" :tongue: does not buy into Kruger, KTP, Addo etc, SANParks is doomed, so get involved, get the employees involved, get the forum involved, all for the wild creatures out there. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Should SANParks be involved in community conservation?
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:45 pm 
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It has been proved, see the Maasai population living around the Masai Mara Game Reserve and Amboseli in Kenya, that educating and making the surrounding population be part of the greater conservation project works.
With the correct approach and help these populations feel they are part of something greater than their little village and that it brings in great advantages.
Sanparks should take steps to make surrounding populations feel and be part of conserving and that this in turn will bring in advantages, both for today's and tomorrow's population.

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 Post subject: Re: Should SANParks be involved in community conservation?
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:02 pm 
SANPARKS are already getting screwed out of their government subsidy...and having to generate their own money.

There are established environmental education schemes inside the Parks.

In my opinion the Department of Basic Education should be primarily responsible for boosting public awareness regarding conservation in the "disadvantaged areas" using schools as a platform, in collusion with the above!


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 Post subject: Re: Should SANParks be involved in community conservation?
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:10 pm 
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We cannot divorce community from conservation. We too are community. It is so important that there is an understanding that there is no "them and us".

The grass depends on the soil, the animals feed off the grass. Kruger is our greenbelt, it functions as our lungs, our air, our very survival. We need to start to understand that this is not just a "nice" place to visit. It is possibly the core of our ecological suvival.

The more the mining and industrial world try to "rearrange the Titanic deck chairs, the more we will realise how important places like Kruger are.

I am community. I need the soil, the seed of the earth.

Today I was listening to one of my friends. He said, "I understand predudice and racism from an intellectual level, but I cannot comprehend it as a human being".

I was thinking of his words in terms of us as a species. It occurred to me that our survival is probably based more on caring than war. Nothing has changed.

If I look at dictators, they divide and rule through fear, the Mandelas of the world unite and gain power through understanding.

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 Post subject: Re: Should SANParks be involved in community conservation?
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:23 pm 
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Exactly, Rumuruti. Though, for some reason, tangible cause-effect used elsewhere seems to get lost when talking about SA and how others have addressed the issue.

I seem to recall people occupying and destroying reserve land (KZN mabye?) recently. It would be short-sighted of SANParks to ignore the fact that, in order to see the value of parkland, there has to be value of parkland. They why's and how's have been established. The general consensus of the "previously advantaged :tongue: " notwithstanding.

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 Post subject: Re: Should SANParks be involved in community conservation?
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:25 pm 
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MM :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

A few years back the Kenya Government decided to boast the small and little known game parks in the country. Among the secret heavens there is the "Kakamega Forest Game Park" which is one of the last original equatorial forests left in the country.A few thousand of people were obliged to leave the park land they had occupied in the past years and in exchange they were given new land around in portion of the park.
Now, how do you get these people to protect and conserve the forest and it's animals??
- 50% of all park entrance income goes towards new and existing schools
- clean water is now provided to all villages
- all park employees come from the same villages.
Results in the first couple of years seems fantastic as number of animals has risen tremendously and returned to areas of the forest previously occupied by humans.

It can all work if the people behind it all want it to work and if something is done for the living conditions of the people living around the park.

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